I woke up 2 hours prior @ 10am to get ready for the big day. Ate something I had leftover from the previous night and made my way down to the Rio. Chatted with some people on way on the shuttle and we were all very excited. Outside of the poker room was very crowded as they were preparing everything inside. Once let in, flows of people flocked to their seats. I was on the north-east quadrant, one of the first quadrants to break due to alternates. We probably played 1 level there before it was broken. In this tourney, I actually wore sunglasses too. I would keep them under my nose when looking at the cards and when I liked my hand I put them on and made a call/raise and so I could close my eyes and not see what the hell they were doing so not to get worried. I also have headphones on, but not turned on because I didn’t want other people bothering me and to look like maybe I didn’t pay attention. Chip stacking wise, I wanted to keep a lot of the green (25 denomination chips) as opposed to the other colours so I could have a big intimidating stack that would also be very hard to count. I would stack it up in one big row.
Plan was to sit back and just let the deck hit me by playing cheap flops with speculative hands in position. I can’t quite recall all the players, but there were definitely some awful players. One guy bet his trips on the flop and turn and didn’t make a bet on the river when he filled in fear of the other guy having a better full house (so weak tight). One player even bet 69 down on 8425 and spiked the 3 on the river, the weak tight player called down with 22 for bottom set.
First real hand I played, MP raises 3x, 1 caller, I call in position with JJ (didn’t want to make a big pot early without much info) and SB + BB checked. Flop came down Q65, checked to me I stabbed 75 and took it down.
Early position raised to 125, I look down at AA in MP and reraise to 375. He thought about it and said should I gamble and laid down 77 (this was the weak tight player).
25/50 level T1800
I am moved. Move to the South West quadrant. I sit down in the 10 seat and wow I have a table here. I recognize two names off the bat, Isabelle Mercier in the 9 spotter, so I get to sit next to her and her sleek French accent and I have Barry Greenstein in the 3 spotter. Both have probably 1000 in chips. Isabelle is knocked out the very first hand I am there. She calls down on Ax7xx board and mucks to A7. Barry played a tight solid style, no small pot poker. He would splash at pots in position and fold to checkraises.
At this level I raised hands like AQ KQ middle pair 88 and took them down with not problem. One hand I raised to 175 with AhKx and this Norwegian player called from the BB. The flop came down T63 (2 hearts) he checked and I bet 250. He called. Turn was the Jh and he checked and I put him all in for 500. He quickly folded.
We hit the break and I checked out the Limit Shootout Event, not much so I went to the little boy’s room.
I find out there is a player that some of the Pros know, Craig Hartman, but know nothing much about him (part of the WPA?). One player to the left of Barry looks like Steve Zolotow too, but a bit too chubby to be him, just has his trademark mustache. A player who works for Bluff Magazine is moved to the left of the Zolotow look-a-like but he is short on chips.
Folded to me on the button, I looked down at JJ and raised Craig’s BB up to 350. He called. Flop came down 643 (2 hearts). He thought for a second and checked to me. I thought and bet out 500. He thought and said “I’m going east on you sir and folded.” I guess we have a mutual understanding not to mess with me ;)
It comes back to me after a limper and I see the flop for free with K9o. The flop comes down 742, the SB checked so I stabbed 225 at the pot. The SB mincheckraised to 450 and I gave it up without a fight.
Greenstein moved in for 625 at this stage and I couldn’t call with 23o. No signed book for me. He had AJo and lost to Craig’s pocket kings.
Craig Hartman has the table chip lead which was probably 7000+. After the SB min checkraiser when busto a new player was moved in and he limped in one hand from MP. I pushed AI for 1600 with AKo. The player to my immediate left looked down at his cards and called all in for shorter than me. Folded back to the new player and he said lets gamble. AK for me, JJ for left guy, 33 for right guys. Flop comes down QTxJx I triple up to around 5000 ish. This is about 5 minutes before the break and I am excited to have some chips going into the Ante Round.
100/200 A25 T5000
What do you know, our table is soon broken and I am shipped back to the North East quadrant (I think, I was moved 6-7 times total that day). I make nice with the table as I somehow become the “Ante Warden” for my left side of the table. At this level, I probably made some steals but nothing worth mentioning or can’t remember.
There is one player at my table which I met the previous day from play in the Caesar’s $130 tourney and I find out he is part of Team Ladbrokes. He busted an online player I sort of recognize from pocketfives, was it gbmantis? I didn’t dare to ask just incase he may have thought I knew about his style and let it play to his advantage. The pot was big by the way, something close to 22,000. Online player raises 600 preflop. Calls reraise from Ladbrokes player to 1300. He checkraises allin on a 2000 bet on JJ4 flop with A5 and Ladbrokes player thinks and just calls within 30 seconds with KK. They hold.
150/300 A25 T5000
I can remember 2 hands of significance, the SB raised my BB to 700. I look down at K9 and call the 400 more. Pot is huge, what is he doing. Flop comes down 984 and he thinks and bets out 800. I have 4000 total and think and well if he is trapping GG. I push all in for 4000 and he thinks for about 3-4 minutes and mucks AQ.
Another hand, 2 limpers I limped in LP with 56s. 5 see the flop, flop came down AKQ and it was checked to me. I was counting out 1100 in chips then scared up in the end and checked. Turn came a 2 and I checked it around figuring my light of opportunity to steal was over. The river a 5, and I checked it hoping it was good. BB Q4 won the pot, DOH.
At this level I am again moved. I am moved to the rail near the North West Quadrant. I sit down and see some big stacks here. One big hand erupted. About 3 players limp, young player limps I see flop for free with QJ (I would have probably tried to make a squeeze play with something reasonable). Luckily I didn’t. Flop came down K64. EP checks, a player bets 1000, young player raises to 2800, EP checkraises all in. MP player thinks and folds. Young player calls with 44 for bottom set. EP limp played AA badly.
Dinner break wee, time for some food, although I plan not to eat much as it makes you very tired. I just go for a fruit salad + some non greasy sandwich.
200/400 A50 T4600
During the dinner break I figured I would need to pick up a hand to double up. But I didn’t need to be pushy about it. Well, what do you know within the first orbit I get a hand. Young UTG player limps in, I look down at KK and raise it to 1700. Its folded back and he asks for a chip count. I move it in front and dealer counts it off. He thinks and says I call. I call all in. Dealer says you said call, and only takes 1300 more from him and player is a bit distraught and says I’m all in, in the dark. This was a bit perplexing for me, but my read from it was that he didn’t have AA, and he wouldn’t move in the dark with big ace and had a pair which meant I would have to call his all in on an ace high flop. Luckily that didn’t happen and it came down KT7 and I had top set. But I had to sweat the turn card (8), but blanked a Q on the river PHEW.
A controversial hand occurred. Folded to a player in late position who raised it to 1200. The player in the SB declared all in. The player in the BB looked at his cards and mucked them. The dealer went for the cards and mucked both the SB+BB hands. The floor was called and they originally ruled that the BB was eliminated vying the LP players call. Then another floor person came and they overruled it. A players life can not be forfeited to a dealer’s mistake and he would be penalized the 1200 chips into the pot. The SB player had AQ and the LP player had AJ, but the LP player took it the hardest and was steaming away.
300/600 A75 T9500
I am moved to a table in the North East Quadrant. I see Han Le in the 3 spotter with my stack implementation strategy. He has over 200+ chips in green and 200+ chips in blacks. No pick (500 denomination) in sight.
I pick up some pots preflop with like AQ and 88. One hand Han limps UTG and I limped 33 in MP. SB+BB called. Flop came down A66 and they all checked to me. I thought maybe Han limped a smaller pair like the other kid and I could now have free reign to take down the pot. I bet out 1700. The SB instapushed all in for 5000 DOH. Back to Han and he must’ve spent like 5+ minutes thinking over his call. Talking in Mongolian and me saying “speak English please”. I honestly thought he may have actually had AA and was roping me in. He folded saying I figure you will call so I will fold. I obviously fold so quickly and he flipped over his mucked AJ.
400/800 A100 T7500
They race off the greens, and what do you know, I’m a WINNER DING DING DING DING.
What do you know, I am again moved but stay in the same quadrant.
Moved to a table with no one I really know. Some player have the nice yellow chips I hope to be accumulating. I pick up some nice pots in this round. AQ in MP, then in the next orbit followed by KK and QQ back to back and then AJ on the button. With 2200 in the pot preflop, those are some huge pots. The player remaining clock than his 272 and they dealers went hand for hand. We would play a full orbit, every player pays the BB once and we would see if we’re in the money yada yada (check online for info). I raise it up to 2400 once in this orbit and a swedish player thinks and decides to fold and ask if TT was good I say maybe, maybe not. I had 88, PHEW. The bubble breaks and what do you know I am moved.
600/1200 A200 T9500
First hand sitting down. Bubble is broken. A player moves all in for over 11-12K in total. I look down at a beautiful aces. Second time I have seen them, so I guess it worked out to 1 in 200 hands. I ask for a count. I mull it over, and give a great speech “well we’re in the money, let’s” and call. Everyone else folds so I guess speech didn’t work and other player has JJ. He goes onto crack them on the river. I was looking down in the felt in front, closing my eyes, thinking DEUCE DEUCE DEUCE DEUCE, but Jack hit. My first WSOP Tourney and I felt great playing in it, but alas the poker gods left me in a time of great need.
I mulled it over, nothing could be done. Got the slip and went to cash out behind other player. Some other player came up to me later and said wow, you put an awesome performance there, the other players thought you were very weak and that they just didn’t get hands. And he also told me his AA was cracked by the guys TT.
From Card Player
[quote] Wed Jul 26 00:12:00 PDT 2006
John Taylor moves up in the chip count when in the span of one round he manages to crack Aces twice. Once with Jacks, and the other time with Tens. He has built his stack from $10,000 to $53,000. [/quote]
Sigh, it really sucks to have the aces cracked. We just hit the money and the money going up was getting big too, I could feel it. The bracelet was within reach. I was also listening to this song every time over and over during the break. “Suddently I see” although its meant for a girl, I could see what they were trying to say. 740K slipped from under, me but I’ll be back. Better than ever, probably plan a trip where more events can be played although the grueling 10 hours of playing can get to you. I was never really worried about losing the money, but I also wanted to play very good.
While I was waiting in line to get paid, I also noticed I was in front of Mike Caro who was with his wife. He wasn't in the event, but he hadn't claimed his money from winnings in a previous event. He had to step out, so someome chimed in and said they should go before since Mike had to be here to collect. Mike soon came back to the dissapointment that someone had skipped in front of him. I joked to him that it was a bad beat while I was in front of the cashier and he chimed back yes, of all the bad beats I've taken, this is by far the worst. :)
I then took the long walk throuh the “Hallway of shame” back to the hotel entrance and took a taxi ride back to the hotel where I hit the sack and slept for 10 hours LOL. Next day, cash games + Megas Sat, Main Event here I come….hopefully